History Book Reviews (page 936)

INVISIBLE ALLIES by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"But for all its heroism and insight, of all Solzhenitsyn's books this may be the least satisfactory: His respect for those who helped him and his own reticence on personal matters join to make it perhaps the closest thing he has ever written to socialist realist odes to heroic tractor drivers."
A portion of Solzhenitsyn's memoir, The Oak and the Calf (1980), that could not be published originally because it reveals his allies in the Soviet Union and how he managed to get his writings out of the country. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Complete with anecdotal particulars and big-picture perspectives, a stunningly effective chronicle of a vanguard state's coming of age. (25 halftones, not seen)"
A first-rate, vivid, verbal diorama of the varied events that formed and reformed California during the convulsive decade before WW II, from the state's librarian and author of Inventing the Dream (1985, etc.). Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A literary challenge and a companion for the common reader, whoever that may be, of 20th-century poetry."
A brief but stimulating meditation on four significant American poets by an indispensable critic. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Despite this lack of documentation, Weitz tells a good story of some obscure heroines of France's dark years."
An oral history of women who served courageously and well in a variety of roles in the French Resistance in WW II. Read full book review >
ALL RIVERS RUN TO THE SEA by Elie Wiesel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"And he ceaselessly pricks the conscience of a world that thinks it is possible to have heard 'enough' about the Holocaust."
Drenched with sad yearning, yet narrated with simplicity in the limpid singsong that distinguishes his oral as well as written narrative, Wiesel's memoir reveals much, if not enough, about the man whose purpose in life has been to testify to the fate of his people. Read full book review >

THE RECKLESS DECADE by H.W. Brands
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Narratively not always up to its best moments, but well researched and accessible; a persuasive reminder that we should look back over our shoulder at what has gone before."
A historian peels the romantic veneer off the good old days of late-19th-century America. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Dyson's wisdom is a needed antidote to the poisons of racial hatred and gender inequality ever present in our lives."
One of our most important black intellectuals limns the lives of black Americans with subtle, lucid rigor. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"But King's brief treatment leaves too many important questions unexplored, and the result is ultimately unsatisfying. (16 b&w photos, not seen)"
It is a maxim of social theory that slavery wreaked its greatest destruction on the black family. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"The book bears some signs of haste in its composition, but its somber and persuasive message should gain it wide and deserved attention."
A courageous book by one of the most distinguished living Irishmen (now pro-chancellor of the University of Dublin and an editor of both the Observer and the Atlantic Monthly), which slices through the superficial optimism currently prevailing about Northern Ireland. Read full book review >
SHELL GAME by Peter Mantius
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Mantius offers a wealth of circumstantial and documentary evidence of egregious improprieties as well as questionable judgments in high places. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
An attention-grabbing rundown on the tangled web woven around a diminutive Sunbelt bank that helped underwrite many of Saddam Hussein's more dubious development programs. Read full book review >
PUSHKIN by Robin Edmonds
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 28, 1995

"Still, to the reader looking for access to Pushkin and Russian history, this should provide an adequate point of entry."
A study of Russia's great writer in his historical context, this conveys the stifling atmosphere of 19th-century tsarist Russia without illuminating Pushkin's literary genius. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 27, 1995

"For a spirited introduction to the midcentury American literary avant-garde, curious readers could do far worse than to start here. (photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
A highly entertaining group biography of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and company that skimps on literary criticism but plumbs the Beats' dramatic lives with not-quite-prurient gusto. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >